Before buying the Xiaomi Mi Band 4 bracelet, I did not take the time to compare its characteristics with that of the previous version. I mainly focused on the presence of a larger, color screen. I did not regret it. Now that Xiaomi has announced the launch of the Mi Band 5, I thought it was time to confront the last two iterations. Here is my comparison of Mi Band 4 and Mi Band 5 bracelets along with some remarks.
I would like to point out right away that this is by no means a test because I do not (yet) own the Mi Band 5. I only thought that it might be nice to share the info and my comments with you. There are certainly plenty of other things to say but it’s already a good start.
Here is a comparative table of the characteristics of the last two versions of the Xiaomi Mi Band connected bracelet.
|Characteristics||Mi Band 4||Mi Band 5|
|Screen||Amoled 2.5D||Amoled 2.5D|
|Diagonal||0.95 ″||1.1 ″|
|Definition (px)||120 x 240||126 x 294|
|Compatibility||Android 4.4 / iOS 9.0||Android 5.0 / iOS 10.0|
|Heart rate monitor||Yes||Yes|
|Other sensor||No||SpO2 sensor|
|Microphone / Speaker||No||No|
|Bluetooth||5.0 BLE||5.0 BLE|
|NFC||No||Yes (not sure)|
|Water resistance||5 ATM||5 ATM|
|Autonomy (J)||Up to 20 days||Up to 14 days|
|Recharge mode||Charging cradle||magnetic dock|
|Dimensions (cm)||4.68 x 1.78 x 1.26||4.72 x 1.85, 1.24|
You have in hand all the figures to compare the two bracelets, at least on paper.
From a design point of view, we must admit that the Mi Band 5 has hardly changed. Above all, it adopts a larger and brighter screen, which means better readability. On a daily basis, with the correct dial on the Mi Band 4, the information is very readable. On the other hand, if you do decide to exercise a little, it becomes much more difficult to read your speed or heart rate while running. Having a larger screen becomes downright interesting.
As for the sensors, nothing new except the arrival of a SpO2 sensor which measures the rate of oxygen saturation. This can for example be used to detect stress or sleep apnea. Having not yet tested watches or connected bracelets equipped with such a sensor, I cannot say whether they provide a real plus.
From what we can read everywhere, the Mi Band 5 will be offered in two versions: one with NFC and the other without. The one with NFC offers the possibility of making a contactless payment. For the moment, it is impossible to know if this version will be available in Europe and France.
There is one point that bothers me a bit: the battery capacity is decreasing. It goes from 135mAh on the Mi Band 4 to 125mAh on the Mi Band 5. It’s not much, but if you take into account the fact that the screen is bigger, it impacts battery life. Moreover, Xiaomi says it itself: we switch from a maximum autonomy of 20 days on the Mi Band 4 to 15 days on the Mi Band 5.
Of course, it should be noted that this is theoretical data. On the Mi Band 4, I have only rarely approached 20 days of autonomy. I was more often between 15-18 days using the alarm clock, notifications, motion alert, and a workout mode once a week. Obviously, it also depends on the brightness setting.
On the battery side, we can still note an area for improvement: no need to remove the dial from its bracelet – not that simple gesture – because the Mi Band 5 is recharged via a magnetic connector. For that alone, we should opt for the latest version. I’m kidding but what it was boring to separate the case of the Mi Band 4 from its bracelet.
Finally, we can, a priori, count on 8 colors unless their number decreases when arriving on the old continent. The personalization of the screen will always be there and above, the manufacturer has put the package with very nice examples.
The characteristics are not everything, it is also necessary to note the possible improvements on the side of the functionalities. Already, the Mi Band 5 will still be able to provide sleep analysis, 24-hour heart rate monitoring, and control of your music.
I don’t know if the Mi Band 5 will do better than its predecessor but on the sleep side, the Xiaomi bracelet still has room for improvement. The data recorded are not always very precise. Well, it is true that for this quality/price ratio, the result is already good.
Another subject, I would like to know if the French (or world) version will include the “PAI” (or Personal Vitality Index). This is equivalent to a shape indicator which will be calculated from all the data recorded by the bracelet. A good way to know if you should stay in bed or not 🙂
This activity tracker will display will be able to display on the screen your notifications and incoming calls. The device is not equipped with a microphone and a speaker, you will have to continue to take out your smartphone to communicate with your correspondent.
In addition to the contactless payment that we always expect on a Mi Band, the new version of the Xiaomi connected bracelet offers remote control of the camera (from the smartphone) or even the monitoring of the menstrual cycle of women . This is not new to connected watches/bracelets – it exists among others at Fitbit – but it is at Xiaomi.
The bracelet is not yet available in France to date, it is impossible to give an opinion on the few features described above. Triggering a remote photo capture is not new either, but offering this little extra at a price that will probably remain unbeatable is always good to take. Regarding cycle monitoring, I would like to know what Xiaomi will offer through its Mi Fit application.
Finally, for those who want to get started in monitoring physical activity, the Mi Band 5 offers 11 training modes against 6 modes on the Mi Band 4. We can, for example, count on indoor running, the jump rope, yoga, or even the rower. You will still have to continue to take your smartphone to improve the accuracy of the information recorded (via the smartphone’s GPS). You can also go to train without your smartphone and in this case, the bracelet will synchronize as soon as the 2 devices are connected.
Not having yet had the Mi Band 5 bracelet in my hands, I only give my opinion based on the information in my possession, namely a Mi Band 4 and the data transmitted by the manufacturer. Those who do not own a watch or connected bracelet and want to track their activity and sleep – without looking for performance – can equip themselves with the Xiaomi Mi Band 5. Even if we do not yet know its price, it is a safe bet that its value for money will always be as good.
On the other hand, I am waiting to see the first feedback before saying whether it is relevant to change the Mi Band 4 against a Mi Band 5. There is indeed an additional sensor, a few additional functions, and mode, but is that sufficient?? Perhaps the presence of the NFC could tip the scales to one side. Now, if Xiaomi has improved the accuracy and reliability of the data collected, then I say ‘Yes’.